Skip to main content

Target focused on process improvement


All manner of store operational processes will soon be under review at Target following the appointment of a new executive whose role is to simplify, optimize and make the retailer more agile.

Target named Anu Gupta to the newly created role of senior VP of operational excellence to lead a dedicated team in simplifying and optimizing processes across the business to help the retailer become more agile in anticipating and meeting customer needs. She will report to John Mulligan beginning Oct. 12. Mulligan was recently elevated to the position of Target’s first COO after previously serving as CFO.

“Anu has a proven track record of increasing effectiveness across every aspect of organizations in a variety of complex businesses, including retail. She brings the right expertise to help simplify our operating processes to be more nimble and sustainable, an important early step as we focus on shoring up our core operations and giving guests an on-demand experience,” said Mulligan.

Gupta is a bit of an unconventional hire for Target in that she joins the retailer from private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman, where she was senior operating executive with oversight for improving business processes and productivity across its portfolio companies. Prior to that role she was vice president for process and profit improvement at Michaels Stores, Inc., where she led the improvement of a variety of core business processes including inventory productivity, product delivery lead times and store operations. Prior to Michaels, Gupta held an operational leadership role at Safeway and was responsible for creating strategic retail services initiatives.

In a statement, Target said Gupta’s appointment comes amid a renewed focus on improving operational fundamentals, particularly technology systems and platforms, supply chain and out-of-stocks and the guest experience. The retailer is investing a previously announced $1 billion in supply chain and technology infrastructure this year, and is putting the right teams and leaders in place to spearhead the effort.

“My focus upon arriving at Target will be working closely with leaders to help make strides in the efforts to strengthen the fundamentals. I have long admired Target and am looking forward to joining such a talented team and dynamic brand,” said Gupta.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds